Oracle of History

Guiding you through the ages

More than meets the eye

Everyone pretty much knows the events of World War 2, but your basic education often skips over some of the more interesting parts of warfare.

So I’ve decided that this important time in history deserves more than your basic high school treatment.

Here are 3 things that they haven’t told you about the war and its legacy – guaranteed most likely to impress the people in your life.

The Ghost Army 

During the war, being artistic wasn’t always a bad thing. In fact, the U.S. army encouraged artists to join up for the 23rd HQ Special Troops a.k.a The Ghost Army. Their job was to practice the art of deception.

You may ask, how would you do that? Well they had many tools at their disposal:

– Inflatable army vehicles

– Fake radio transmissions/ sounds

– Material to impersonate other U.S. army divisions

Image

Inflatable Tank during World War 2

They successfully carried out 20 staged deceptions and were involved in some of the most important moments of the war. They even helped revolutionise warfare.

If you think it sounds interesting (and I certainly did!) then I would suggest checking out The Ghost Army documentary. It can give you more details than I ever could with the bonus of some funny stories from Ghost Army veterans.

Russia and Japan are still fighting a war?!

Neither Russia or Japan have actually signed an official peace treaty between them, ending World War 2.

The reason? The Kuril Islands

ImageThese Islands off the coast of Japan, but close enough to Russia, were disputed then and are still an issue to.this.day

NB: Researching this felt like reading a really poorly written soap opera where they continue the story, but replace the actors.

Maybe they should try following the saying: Let bygone be bygones?

The secret to winning a game of Monopoly 

The never ending board game actually served a purpose during the war. It allowed Red Cross workers to get escape tools to the Prisoners of War in German camps.

ImageThis was in your basic kit:

  • European currency was hidden within the Monopoly money. As in Francs (FR), Lira (IT) and Deutschmark (GER)…they didn’t have euros yet!
  • A metal file was hidden in the board to help them escape
  • There was a compass hidden in a piece, like the shoe or thimble.
  • Silk maps of the camp were hidden in the hotel pieces

For added effect, please use this fact during a game of Monopoly to Wow your friends 😉

*Sigh* why couldn’t we just all get along?

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